Gardening is a hobby for some, and for others a chore in an attempt to beautify the home’s exterior. Whether you’re an expert with a green thumb or you struggle to keep anything you plant alive, these little buggers can destroy any progress you’ve made by munching on all your efforts! Springtails dine on sprouting seeds, and large numbers tend to attack young plants in greenhouse crops. While harmless to humans and animals, springtails can be devastating to vegetation, from a potted plant all the way to large crops.

The name springtail comes from a forked appendage (forcula) acting as a spring, which is folded underneath the body and held there by a clasp like structure called the tenaculum. A springtail can propel itself a distance of up to 20 times its body length by releasing the furcula, launching it into the air.

What do springtails look like?
These wingless insects range in size from 0.04 to 0.2 inches long. Colors range from red, yellow, green, gold, black, white, gray or lavender.Some are covered in scales, creating an iridescent or metallic appearance while others are patterned or spotted. A black and yellow species, the garden springtail, generally occur in large quantities and injure vegetables and flowers. As a jumping insect in a home, springtails can be mistaken as fleas. Springtails differ in that they have normal hind legs while using their tails to jump, whereas fleas have hind legs adapted for jumping. Also, springtails are round and soft bodied instead of dark brown and flattened.

Why are they a threat?
When springtails occur in large numbers and are in search for a different environment, they can sneak into homes and occupy kitchens and bathrooms. Most springtails eat decaying matter such as algae, bacteria and fungi, but a few consume living plant tissue, and some of these species can be pests. The water springtail (gray in color) can build a home on the surface of your swimming pool or pond, or in puddles. Generally, the springtail prefers to inhabit dark and damp areas.

Save the plants in your home and your exterior plant life; call Oneway Pest Control today!